I was trying to be happy by keeping the bad stuff out, by telling myself only good stories about myself – stories with my favorite people, in the sweetest circumstances, with the luckiest turn of events. Stories with no disease, no accidents, and no death.
I knew it wasn’t working. Even if bad stuff didn’t happen, I knew it could. Abominations could happen - the kind of thing that only is supposed to happen to other people could happen to me and my loved ones, and nothing I could do would stop it.
In fact, the more I tried to keep the bad stuff out, the worse it got, till the bad news was pounding on my basement door, trying to force the windows.
And on top of that, it was making me miss the good stuff. I thought I'd be safe if I shut my eyes and stoppered up my ears and hid in my cellar - but I couldn’t see the sun, or hear the birds, or feel the breeze. I couldn’t look in a loved one’s eyes or feel their touch.
Finally I opened the window, just a crack. And the light came in, and the shadows. The shadows were gloomy, but the light was delicious, and warm…
So I opened the door, and then all the windows, and started to let everything in.
That was when I realized how much room there is in here. It looks like this hotel has endless capacity – not just for the wealthy, or the clean and sober, or people with the right skin tone or the right beliefs. There’s room for everybody in here – all species, and all kinds of individuals – moral and immoral, fortunate and destitute, bag ladies and abandoned children on drugs, monsters, and serial killers, and dictators, and stupid people and geniuses. And not only all kinds of people, but all kinds of events – horrible misfortunes, crazy accidents that spare only the mother, and strokes of wonderful luck, true love and betrayal, exquisite meals and food poisoning.
I’m letting them all in, not because it’s fair – it isn’t.
I’m letting them in because it’s Life. All one package.
So we’re opening our doors – opening them wide, and building a new wing, and building up, up, up, toward the Heavens – and down, down, down, into the earth, into the caves where there are dragons, into the clockwork that makes the earth turn.